After a couple of disappointing YA Fantasy novels in the last couple of weeks (The Iron Witch and The Iron King), I took a short break to devour an excitingly easy historical romance (This one!). Feeling that my palate was cleansed, I stared at my overcrowded bookshelf debating what to read. My mother, sister and I, went book shopping yesterday afternoon – it’s been gray and raining here in Melbourne, so we all felt the need to peruse the shelves and enjoy the smell that new books provide. I picked up The Help by Kathryn Stockett, which has been recommended more times that I can count, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, and Forgotten by Cat Patrick. Also sitting on my bedside table are a few books from the library that I was hoping to read before I go on holidays next Tuesday. But after my disappointment with the last two books I’d read, I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood. After seeing Die For Me in the bookstore though, I remembered that I’d borrowed it recently and that it was sitting at home. A 340-page YA Fantasy by a debut author that mentioned nothing of vampires or fae. In addition, I’m off to France in less than a week, and the story is set in Paris!

From the outset, I knew I was going to like the book, it was easy to get into and the characters seemed realistic and likable. The protagonist Kate was a grieving orphan who was living in her own little world. I respected that Amy Plum didn’t focus too heavily on Kate’s depression (think: the 80,000,000 pages in New Moon when Edward leaves Bella…), but didn’t skim over it either. Now, I don’t think there is such thing as an ‘original’ romance set up these days, yet Vincent’s initial awkwardness and Kate’s uncertainty works well. When Kate begins to realise that the information isn’t matching up, however, she is determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious man who keeps turning up in her world. Ultimately, their relationship doesn’t become about possession of each other, but about mutually realising that they like each other and that pursuing a relationship seems to be the right decision.

From what I understand, revenants are a completely original concept (some combination of angels and zombies). Even though some of the descriptions and explanations were lengthy, I was fascinated by Vincent’s identity and the world he and his kindred operated in. I don’t think it was constructed absolutely perfectly (flaws can be found in nearly all fantastical worlds), but it was one of the best supernaturals-in-the-real-world novel I’d read in a long time.

I feel like I should have more to say about a book I enjoyed so much, but other than ‘Highly Recommended – 4 stars!’, I can’t think of much else. It wasn’t a hard read, and I knocked it over in less than 24 hours on a lovely rainy day. But it was the kind of story that made me grin while reading it, before realising that I was being thrown funny looks from my family, and I just couldn’t put it down!

If only I didn’t have to wait until next year for the second installment!